Summary: The remedy for worry, fear, purposelessness, frustration and lack of provision and the recipe for a fulfilled, fruitful and God-pleasing life. (As close to a formula as I ever get!)
"Seek first the Kingdom of God" Mt 6:28-34 WBC 19/6/05am
You know I’m not strongly ’formulaic’
- life isn’t that simple
- formulas can let you down
But I have a formula for you this morning. I have a guaranteed recipe… remedy for:
- worry (here), provision (here), life, church!, purposelessness, frustration, fruitfulness (this IS the secret!)… all!
If you will listen to what Jesus says, this morning- the penny will drop…hope and help will come
- (of course I’m not Jesus! I’m talking about His words. Do you trust Jesus… His words?)
- then please listen
Maybe you are seeking something. You’re seeking God for something…. or (being more blunt and honest!)- you WANT something. From Him.
- "I want God to do something for me". I want:
o financial help. Get finances sorted
o to get my spirit sorted. "Do it, God, please!"
o that job, That promotion. Accommodation. House
o to overcome my brokenness
o God to take away this worry, fear
o His power with my ageing parents. More grace
o Him to sort this family problem out!
o A partner!
o Help for my children
o To be useful. Guidance, Direction.
o His intervention…..
Do you want these things? Is that where your focus has been?
- maybe you’re frustrated because God’s not coming up with the goods?
- Maybe you think He doesn’t care?
o Or: why it’s really frustrating! You know He does, but He’s not doing anything!
But I need to ask you- "if you want God to do what YOU require of Him… are you doing what He requires of you? First?"
- actually: there is no reason, guarantee or promise that when we say ’Jump’, the almighty will just say "how high, Ewen?!"
- and there is no promise that is we are not doing our part He will do His part
o (He often does- but that is unmerited grace. Not a promise)
- He is not a tame lion! He IS safe…but not tame… our ’pet’
It says in PS 37:4 Delight yourself in the LORD
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
PS 37:5 Commit your way to the LORD;
trust in him and he will do this:
PS 37:6 He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn,
the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.
PS 37:7 Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when men succeed in their ways,
when they carry out their wicked schemes.
Are you? Are you doing your bit? Seriously? Or do you think God can be fooled…. He’s some kind of slot machine?
Here is the recipe for ’the desires of your heart’…. ’everything else you NEED’…. ’God’s power, even’
SEEK FIRST THE KINGDOM OF GOD
This is what we are to seek- and if we look to this… to God’s will… He’ll look to our needs. Worries. Fears. Provisions
- but we must seek it first
- as Richard Foster says in celebration of discipline ’the person who does not seek the kingdom of God first, does not seek it at all’
If you don’t do this
- you build the house, but the labour is in vain
- you earn your money only to put it in pockets with holes
- everything is topsy-turvy
- the promises of God can seem empty and unfulfilled
What is the Kingdom that we are to seek? What does it mean?
- this will shock you! It was the complete focus of Jesus’ ministry
o only 3 times does He mention church. 119 times He mentions the kingdom of God. The rule of God. The Kings will being done. Lives changed. Heaven, now!
o In fact- even after His resurrection, what does He talk about?... for 40 days!
Acts 1;3 After his suffering, he showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. 4 On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: "Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.
He speaks about the kingdom- and the power of the Holy Spirit is linked with… given for… this. God’s will being done on earth as in heaven.
Illustr: BBC Programme on Genghis Kahn first shown on BBC1 on 25 April 2005. Genghis had the largest empire ever: twice the size of the Roman Empire. He felt God wanted him to be ruler of the whole world. His early 13C empire stretched over Mongolia, China and through the Urals into Europe. It was stopped short of advancing into Poland by sheer fortune and his death.